Rail Bender

I want to try building my own G Scale turnouts, so I need a rail bender. I have found several listed in magazine ads, but have no idea if they
work or not. I'd rather not spend $75 to find out. Can anyone make some recommendations?
Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm sure they'll all bend rail, if that's what you mean by "work." They'll probably do better than bending rail around a bucket or washtub, or some such. They can bend the rail without putting a twist in it.
I made my own bender. It's easy enough to do if you have a lathe, and not impossible if you don't have one. I read of a bender made using sliding door rollers. All you need are two stationary rollers and an adjustable third roller between them. If you can't contour the rollers to fit the rail, use ones thin enough to just press on the rail web. You can put a crank on a roller to move the rail through the device, but if you don't, I think you can do just as well pushing and pulling the rail through the bender.
It takes some trial and error to get the curve you want. You may have to bend the rail a little at a time to get it right. Once you've done one rail, if you put a fresh one through the bender with the same adjustment, the second rail's curve will be entirely different. That's probably due to work hardening of the first rail. The second rail won't be hardened, and it will behave differently. If you have a big enough range of motion of your movable roller, you can also straighten already curved rail.
I've made a bunch of switches. They're designed to be a 12' radius curve coming into the tangent, which makes them about #9. With that radius you don't really need a rail bender, at least with code 250 aluminum rail. The rail is flexible enough to follow that curve without straining it.
--
Bill Kaiser
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@mtholyoke.edu wrote:

Thank you for the advice!
Ted
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.